Katchatheevu Row: ‘Neither acquired nor ceded..,’ Priyanka Chaturvedi


Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi on Monday asked Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to address what she called discrepancies in two different Right to Information (RTI) responses, related to Katchatheevu island issued by it, in 2015 and 2024.

Chaturvedi shared an RTI reply issued by the MEA in 2015 which mentions that the Katchatheevu island was neither acquired nor ceded and lies on the Sri Lankan side of the India-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line.

The 2015 response by MEA assumes significance considering the ongoing political flash point over RTI reply received by Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai said that former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi had ceded the Island to Sri Lanka.

Also Read: Katchatheevu Row: What’s the issue? What India did 50 years ago?

“Maybe MEA India will be able to address these discrepancies in its RTI response in 2015 vis a vis 2024,” Chaturvedi said in a post on X.

“This did not involve either acquiring or ceding of territory belonging to India since the area in question had never been demarcated. Under the Agreements, the Island of Katchatheevu lies on the Sri Lankan side of the India-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line,” the RTI response from the MEA in 2015 read. She said the response was given when External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was serving as the country’s Foreign Secretary.

Earlier in the day, Jaishankar had criticised the attitude of the Congress party towards the Katchatheevu island and said India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru saw it as a ‘nuisance’.

“Today the Foreign Minister and yesterday the PM claimed it has been ‘ceded’ So is the change in stance for their election politics or has Modiji made a case for Sri Lanka?” she asked.

Also Read: Katchatheevu island row: PM Modi calls out DMK’s ‘double standard’, says ‘…did nothing to safeguard TN’s interest’

The fresh RTI response to Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai has sparked into a political row with Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming down heavily on the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Congress party over saying that the Tamil Nadu’s ruling party has done nothing to safeguard state’s interests. The Prime Minister’s charge on the opposition over the issue comes days ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

The island, a disputed area, was given to Sri Lanka by the Congress government headed by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi through an agreement in 1974. But lead by PM Modi, the BJP has launched a charge on Opposition Congress and DMK for “callously” giving it away. DMK is in power in Tamil Nadu, a state where the BJP is trying to make in roads in the run up to 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

In August 2014, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government had told the Supreme Court that the country will have to wage war to get back Katchatheevu Island

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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 01:23 PM IST


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